She claimed that she slipped and fell on the common walkway area at Dolphin Mall in Sweetwater, Miami-Dade County, Florida. She sued the owner/operator and the janitorial services contractor.
Mall and Janitorial Service Say They Had No Notice
The mall and janitorial service argued that the mall was reasonably maintained and that it had no notice that water was on the floor.
The shopper was 64 on the date of this accident. She was with her daughter.
Shopper Says Water Had Been There for a While Before Fall
Both her and her daughter said that the water appeared dirty and that shoe prints were tracked through the puddle.
She claimed that the evidence proved that the water was on the floor for a long time and it should have been discovered and cleaned up by the janitorial service.
Shopper Argues Janitorial Service Was Understaffed
The fall happened on a busy weekend. She argued that the janitorial service should have had more staff.
She claimed the records showed the janitorial service was understaffed by 2 employees when the fall happened. She claimed that there was no employee assigned to cover the area where she fell.
Shopper Claimed No Employee Was Cleaning Area When Fall Happened
She claimed that the employee assigned to the closest 30,000 square-foot section was having dinner when the fall happened. She argued that only 1 employee was responsible for keeping the floor clean for 3 big parts of the mall when the accident occurred.
Lady Has Surgery to Her Tibial Plateau
She had surgery (ORIF) on her tibial plateau.
Her orthopedic surgeon testified that she sustained a 15% permanent impairment of the leg, or 6% of the whole body as a result of the fracture. She complained of continuing knee pain and limitation of motion.
Her orthopedic surgeon opined that future surgery to remove the orthopedic hardware will be required and that she will need a future knee replacement.
Defendants’ Orthopedic Surgeon Who Agrees She Has a 15% Impairment
The mall hired an orthopedic surgeon who agreed that she had a 15% permanent impairment rating of her leg as a result of the tibial plateau fracture.
Defendant’s Orthopedic Surgeon Says She Won’t Need Future Surgery
However, he said that she would not need a future surgery.
Jury Awards $215,000 for Pain and Suffering
$215,000 of the verdict was for pain and suffering. Of that amount, $80,000 was in past pain and suffering. $135,000 was for future pain and suffering.
Jury Founds Mall and Janitorial Company At Fault
The jury found the janitorial company 70% negligent, and the mall owner/operator 30% negligent.
The case is Marina DeMartinez v. The Taubman Company LLC d/b/a Dolphin Mall and Southeast Service Corporation of Tennessee d/b/a Southeast Service Corporation.
The verdict was in March, 2009.
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